Coffee: Who Invented This Popular Beverage?

How did coffee start?

Coffee is indeed one of the, if not the most popular, beverages all over the world but have you wondered who invented this?

This beverage has become a part of many people’s lives, especially in the morning. It is a routine for many people to have a hot cup of joe. Throughout the years, there have been several innovations that were made to this beverage. However, many people do not know who and how this became a well-loved drink.

Based on the article in Mental Floss, a legend said that a 9th-century Ethiopian goat-herder named Kaldi observed his goats’ unusual behavior after eating the red berries from a nearby Coffea arabica tree.

Tasting Table

Kaldi tried the red berries and became hyper and brought some to the monastery. It was said that its stimulating effects during long hours of prayer concerned the people. They believed that it was the devil’s work so, religious leaders there threw the tree’s beans onto a fire to destroy them.

However, upon smelling the pleasing aroma of that burnt berry, they were convinced to give it a second chance.

Setting aside the legend, it was thought people had been chewing coffee beans to stimulate them. It was believed that enslaved Sudanese people the beans to help them survive their difficult voyages on trade routes.

True historical accounts of consumption of the beans started when devout Sufi in Yemen were said to use the drink to remain vigilant during religious rituals.

Arabic countries in the 14th century such as Egypt, Syria, and Turkey began the cultivation and trade of beans for the drink and spread throughout. Accounts suggested that there was no coffee plant existed outside the said countries until the 1600s. That was when a pilgrim named Baba Budan brought them back to India.

It was said that Pieter van der Broeck smuggled some coffee out of Mocha, Yemen, and brought it back to Amsterdam in 1616. Later on, the Dutch and their colonies (Sri Lanka and Java) took over the European trade. This was followed by the French in the Caribbean, the Spanish in Central America, and the Portuguese in Brazil.

Eventually, the beverage made its way to America through British colonizers who docked in New York City. Because of its social connotations, coffee easily became popular, like beer and wine such as champagne.

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